REVIEW: ‘The Case Study of Vanitas,’ Volume 8

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Case Study of Vanitas Volume 8

Everyone tries to regroup after The Beast of Gévaudan incident in The Case Study of Vanitas Volume 8, and emotions are scattered all over Paris. The manga from popular creator Jun Mochizuki (Pandora Hearts) has inspired a popular anime adaptation from studio Bones and will air its second cour/season in Winter 2022. The English edition is published by Yen Press, is translated by Taylor Engel, and lettered by Bianca Pistillo. The story is set in a fictional steampunk Paris. It follows the unlikely partnership between human-vampire doctor, Vanitas, and sheltered vampire Noé as they seek to uncover who is cursing vampires and stealing their true names.

The Case Study of Vanitas Volume 8 showcases almost the entire cast’s internal conflicts. Both Jeanne and Vanitas realize that they might actually be falling in love with each other, and their reactions to such realizations are polar opposite. Frankly, it is a comical but also refreshing turn for Jeanne, and we get to learn more about her as an independent person. Mochizuki strikes a fine balance between the comedy of these moments, as well as the more serious facts they reveal. Specifically when Vanitas seeks advice from Roland and Olivier. We know from past storylines that Vanitas has a lot of buried trauma and avoids opening up to people. However, this is the first time he speaks so plainly about how he sees himself. It is heartbreaking, especially when we learn the toll using his unique abilities takes on his body.

A consistent theme throughout The Case Study of Vanitas Volume 8 is how the different characters value themselves. We’ve seen a lot of Noé’s perspective on losing Louis, but not a lot of Domi’s. So far, Domi’s portrayal has been that of a young noblewoman in power, self-assured and harboring a childhood crush on Noé. Mochizuki gives us an amazing chapter that pulls the rug out from under us. Seeing behind the curtain into Domi’s family structure, where she stands, and the abuse she has been smiling through is heart-wrenching.

As always, Mochizuki’s artwork is stunning. The multi-page spreads are pieces I’d love to see blown up on a large canvas and displayed. The tiniest details in facial expressions tell so much. Even Noé, who often has soft features, even in a fight, because he wants to see the good in everyone, becomes deadly this volume. Sharp lines on his eyes and teeth layered with heavy shadow give the character malice we have yet to see from him. The series consistently masters its pacing to the point where the artwork has a heartbeat. The number of panels on a page speeds up and slows down the reader with the character’s emotions.

The Case Study of Vanitas Volume 8 deals with many of the interpersonal consequences of The Beast of Gévaudan incident. Likely serving as a bridge into the next arc, Mochizuki’s pacing and artwork layer a story of love, hope, and pain beneath the masks of all the characters readers have come to love.

The Case Study of Vanitas Volume 8 is available now wherever books are sold.


The Case Study of Vanitas Volume 8
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TL;DR

The Case Study of Vanitas Volume 8 deals with many of the interpersonal consequences of The Beast of Gévaudan incident. Likely serving as a bridge into the next arc, Mochizuki’s pacing and artwork layer a story of love, hope, and pain beneath the masks of all the characters readers have come to love.